Learning how to play poker is somewhat simple, and most of the games will only take you a few minutes to grasp the general rules (check out the rules pages on this site to learn the different variations). However, learning how play poker well is a whole different story and can take a lifetime to master.
Any elite poker pro will tell you that their journey to the top was not an easy one. Simply learning how to play a game is only the first step in a long process to eventually becoming a consistent winner. Anyone can make a score in the short term by hitting a few hands and getting lucky, but turning a profit over the long term isn’t an easy task.
Your overall strategy to becoming a great poker player should be a complex one, and patience along the way will prove to be a necessity. By following the tips below and going on to read the articles on this site, you will be on your way to becoming a winning poker player.
Read Poker Strategy Online
In contrast to the old days of poker when players were forced to learn by experience alone, there is now a plethora of information available on the internet to help improve your game in the matter of minutes. Not only is this information readily available for those who have access to the web, it is free of charge, as opposed to books authored by poker pros (which are also important to your poker education and will be discussed below). This website has an abundance of tips and strategies to help you improve your poker game, and is a great place to start your education.
Read and Post in Online Forums
Talking about the game and going over hands with other players is absolutely crucial to becoming a decent player. Luckily, there are several popular online poker forums where you can connect with thousands of other players at every skill level. The strategy forums on sites like twoplustwo.com offer an incredible wealth of information, knowledge and advice from the poker community as a whole. Not only will posting and commenting in forums help increase your skills at the tables, but can also offer opportunities for new friendships with players around the world who share your love of the game and your thirst for improvement.
Read Poker Books
As mentioned above, poker books are extremely important to your education as a player. While reading articles online and posting in forums will prove to be helpful, reading books authored by top pros is a required prerequisite to becoming a well-rounded player. Not only will these books saturate your mind with both classic and modern poker theories, but they will update you on what your opponents have learned as well (particularly if you read some of the most well-known titles). Ignoring poker books would be denying yourself such an amazing resource that simply wasn’t available only a few decades ago.
Practice New Strategies Online
In poker, a player can absorb a wealth of information and theory, but there is no substitute for experience. Any time you read a new strategy, it is always best to put it into practice. Of course, experimenting with new theories can be expensive until they are mastered, so playing online is a recommended course because of the abundance of small stakes and even free games available. Playing in online micro stakes games is a great way to try out your new found skills and fine tune your game without much monetary risk.
Now that you have an idea of the steps required to become a winning player, get started learning some new strategy tips now by reading the articles on this site, and then taking your new knowledge to the virtual felt to show your opponents what you’re made of.
Read our Poker Strategy pages for the following games